An Interview with Steven Nadler
Copyright (c) 2020 Lucio Biasiori
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Steven Nadler (Columbia, Ph.D. 1986) is William H. Hay II Professor & Evjue-Bascom Professor in Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also been a visiting professor at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), the École Normale Supérieure (Paris), and the University of Amsterdam (where he was the holder of the Spinoza Chair in 2007). Most of his research has been devoted to the study of philosophy in the seventeenth century, including Descartes and Cartesianism, Spinoza, and Leibniz. He has also examined antecedents of early modern thought in medieval Latin philosophy and (especially with respect to Spinoza) medieval Jewish philosophy, and has written on medieval Jewish rationalism (especially Saadya ben Joseph, Maimonides, and Gersonides). His publications include Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge, 1999; second edition, 2018); The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008; paperback, Princeton 2010); The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century (2009), co-edited with Tamar Rudavsky; A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth ofthe Secular Age (Princeton, 2011) and The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes (Princeton, 2013). Heretics: The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy (Princeton University Press), a graphic book (with Ben Nadler), was published in 2017. His most recent books are Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (“Jewish Lives”, Yale, 2018) and, as co-editor, The Oxford Handbook to Descartes and Cartesianism.